Health ministry procures trucks to improve service delivery

Stefanus Nashama

The Ministry of Health and Social Services yesterday said that it has spent about N$10.6 million on the procurement of four trucks for the Central Medical Stores.

The trucks were procured to improve capacity for the transportation and distribution of pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies across the country.

According to the ministry, the N$10.6 million included the cost of necessary modifications to make the trucks fit for their purpose.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Otjiwarongo yesterday, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula said the additional four trucks will enable the ministry to meet the goals of the Central Medical Stores and increase the frequency of delivery of life-saving medicines and clinical supplies to health facilities across the country.

He further said it was the dream of the ministry to improve the fleet’s delivery capacity through the procurement of these new trucks to address the challenges related to the increase in demand for services. He added the ageing fleet is not able to meet the current demands.

Shangula alluded that there were only five government-owned trucks in the fleet of distribution vehicles at the Central Medical Stores, which are aged and have high odometer readings.

“This not only makes the running costs of the fleet very high, but the aged fleet was also woefully insufficient to support an increased delivery frequency. As a result, the trucks were also prone to frequent breakdowns, often leading to delays in the delivery cycle,” he explained.

The minister emphasized that the situation was self-demanded for the ministry to procure an additional four trucks.

According to the ministry, the Central Medical Stores distribution network provides pharmaceutical and clinical supplies to about 40 health facilities on a six-weekly cycle. This includes 21 out of 29 district hospitals; four intermediate hospitals, one national tertiary referral hospital, and two Regional Medical Stores. Therefore, the procurement of the trucks is an added value to the service delivery of the ministry, he said.

Shangula also told the conference that, the ministry has also recently procured 420 wheelchairs of different sizes. He said the wheelchairs will be distributed to persons with mobility challenges in all fourteen Regions.

The minister pointed out that the 420 wheelchairs are not sufficient enough for the need for wheelchairs, therefore, there is a waiting list for other wheelchairs, comprising 590 children and more than 1 200 adults across the country. However, the minister did not specify the cost of the current wheelchairs procured.

The commissioning of the wheelchairs comes against the backdrop of the commemoration of the National Day of Persons with Disability in Namibia over the weekend, he stated. unity leaders, community health workers, and community-resource persons to come

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